Citibank continues on its strategy to streamline its Global Consumer Bank and is actively seeking a buyer for its credit card business in Japan. Citi announced on Christmas Day it reached a definitive agreement to sell its retail banking business in Japan to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC).
The entire retail banking operations of Citibank Japan, including its Japan-wide network of retail branches and ATMs, will be transferred to a trust bank subsidiary of SMBC as part of the transaction, together with approximately 1,600 Citi Japan employees, about 740,000 customer accounts and approximately JPY2.5 trillion (US$21.0 billion at an exchange rate of 118.15 yen to US$1.00) of yen and foreign currency deposits as of November 30, 2014. The financial terms of the transaction are not material to Citi.
The transaction is expected to close in late 2015.
Citibank’s credit card profits have declined 18.3% since the third quarter of 2013, dropping from $186 million in 3Q/13 to $152 million in 3Q/14, according ti CardData.
Following the sale, Citi will continue to deliver its global network to its Japanese and non-Japanese corporate, institutional and governmental clients in Japan. Citi will serve these clients by focusing on its corporate and investment banking, markets and transaction services businesses conducted from Citibank Japan and Citigroup Global Markets Japan.
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